SAN DIEGO (CN) – A Border Patrol agent who shot to death an “illegal immigrant smuggler” sued the U.S. government in Federal Court, saying he’s suffered ridicule and death threats since a video of the shooting was posted on the Internet and broadcast on TV shows, including “Hannity’s America” and “Geraldo at Large.”
Arturo Lorenzo says the video, which captured him shooting an alleged immigrant smuggler who was trying to throw a rock at him near the border, was edited by Customs and Border Patrol Officers who added Lorenzo’s name and rank and an “enhanced view” of the shooting without Lorenzo’s consent.
The video of the March 2007 “Arturo Lorenzo Shooting” has received 12,800 hits on the Internet, according to the complaint. The shooting – and video – were widely covered in Mexico and the United States.
Lorenzo says he and his wife have suffered death threats, contempt, ridicule, financial and emotional distress, and harm to their reputation.
The alleged smuggler “escaped Lorenzo’s grasp and instead of retreating to the border, picked up a large rock and raised his arm preparing to throw the rock at Lorenzo from a distance of approximately one car length. Lorenzo discharged his service rifle, striking the smuggler in the chest and killing him,” according to the complaint.
The Lorenzos say they had to move to Florida because of the backlash.
They seek damages for negligence, distress, privacy invasion/false light, and public disclosure of private facts. They are represented by John Gomez.